The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has debunked claims that the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja was banned indefinitely by the world football body, FIFA over the fans’ violence after the match between Nigeria and Ghana on Tuesday.
Recall that some aggrieved Nigerian fans had vandalised the football pitch after Nigeria’s senior male football team, Super Eagles drew 1-1 with their Ghanaian counterparts, the Black Stars on Tuesday, in a match that was to decide who would qualify for the tournament.
The Super Eagles lost the ticket to Black Stars of Ghana in a 1-1 draw on Tuesday at the MKO National Stadium Abuja with the visitors going through on away-goal rule.
On Friday morning, there were reports that FIFA had placed a ban on the Moshood Abiola National Stadium as claims also arose that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) equipment used for the match was missing.
But the NFF’s General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, dismissed the claims saying, “We are alarmed at the influx of incorrect reports, otherwise known as fake news, mostly in the social media.
“There is no truth to the reports that the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja has been banned for any length of time by FIFA.
“It is a concoction by some persons with fertile imagination. The NFF has not received any such communication from either FIFA or CAF. There has also been an outlandish report that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) equipment that was installed for the match had been stolen.
“We initially thought this was an April Fool prank but it is alarming that some media outlets are taking it serious. Nothing of such happened. The VAR equipment remains intact and has been returned to the FIFA office in Zurich, Switzerland by Sebastian Runge, FIFA’s Head of Technology.”
Sanusi added: “The NFF understands that Nigerians in their generality were sorely disappointed by the result of the match, which came short of having the Super Eagles at the World Cup.
“It is a painful situation for everyone, including ourselves at the Federation. However, we are appealing that the propensity for half-truths and outright falsehood be discouraged. We believe that the present squad of Super Eagles is still capable of achieving great things.”
SAHARAREPORTERS, NEW YORK